Chris started running towards the closest transportation vent in the dome. He knew he shouldn’t have left her to return to the human realm alone, even when he specifically instructed her to wait in his apartment till he returned.
He should have known she would not listen to him but instead try to play hero. In the magical community someone with Chi’s naturally affinity was very rare. As an esper she was both telekinetic and telepathic, most mages either possessed one of the two or had them as low level secondary abilities. Her unique magical affinity put a lot of pressure on her as a child and most of the older mages always had expectations of her.
As she grew older she had learnt to cover up her sense of responsibility with an even greater air of nonchalance that always seemed to frustrate everyone, especially those who had come to expect “great things” from her. Despite all this she couldn’t fool him, deep beneath all the playfulness was a mage with a serious messiah complex. Chi really did believe that she could save everyone and that mentality was about to get her killed, he could sense it and he needed to get to her before it was too late.
Ironically he had been trying his best all morning to get them off the Ronke case. His plan was to get the heads of the factions to assign the case to another pair, giving him enough time to plan and if need be protect Ronke. It wasn’t much of a plan but it was the best he could come up with on such short notice.
He spoke to General Musa and General Segun and they were both dead ends. General Musa was rather disappointed in him for putting the reputation of the Guardians on the line while General Musa was just angry that he would, in his own word “dare” get romantically involved with a human.
It wasn’t against the rules to be romantically involved with a human, after all the human faction existed for a reason. Still there were procedures to these things that Chris had ignored despite Chi’s warnings which only made Chris feel more responsible for the situation they were currently in.
He was on his way to see the Mage Masters when he felt that Chi was in danger. He finally arrived at the nearest vent, thought of the location he wanted to go and jumped in. Appearing in his room, thankfully he was already in his guardian uniform which were black pants and an armless black shirt. They also had various arm accessories depending on rank or the mission at hand but he didn’t have the time for that right now, he quickly picked up his silver double bladed staff from his wardrobe and rushed out of the house.
In the guardian order, every guardian had to select a weapon of choice and train for a decade to master their weapons. This didn’t mean that they weren’t versatile enough to use other weapons or even excel at hand to hand combat, but Guardians needed a weapon to perform basic low level battle spells. Your weapon of choice was usually considered to be an extension of yourself and it usually takes at least a year to select a weapon to master at the beginning of training.
When Chris joined the Guardian Order he was one of the promising students and every tutor wanted to take him under their wing. General Segun in particular (who was still a Lieutenant at the time) was one of the best katana wielders in the order and was encouraging Chris to pick the katana as his weapon of choice.
During their first year of training, the first years participated in a long standing tradition of watching the two Generals’ spar. That was the first time he ever set his eyes on a doubled bladed staff which was wielded by of the General Tony (now retired). He was so marvelled by a weapon that could be used as a regular staff, unsheathed and detachable at the middle turning it into two short swords and could also be used as a naginata.
Chris made up his mind to master the double bladed staff and learn under General Tony, up until today he had a feeling this was one of the reasons why General Segun didn’t like him. After ten years of training under General Tony, he gave him the Silver double bladed staff as a gift. The staff was a sister to the Golden Staff that General Tony owned and he would never forget what General Tony told him at his coronation ceremony.
“The Double Bladed Staff like every other weapon can never be totally mastered. I have only taken it as far as I could, but if there is anyone who can take it much further it is you my boy. I have had many students, none of them quite as disciplined and yet as reckless as you are and to master this weapon you need a delicate blend of discipline and recklessness.”
He still hadn’t figured what the hell the old man was ranting about up until this day. He quickly got out of the house and headed for Ronke’s apartment. Running as fast as he could he looked at the sky and noticed the birds were converging, flying ahead of him towards the direction he was running.
“I hope this is good” he muttered, running faster although he could already sense that things were about to get more complicated.
Chi had figured out three things from where she was standing. The first thing was that the guy standing in front of her was a mage hunter. It wasn’t just because he was holding two karambit knives and looking at her like she was prey, it was because she had just tried to read his mind and had failed.
She could probe into almost anyone’s mind with ease except high level Mages who usually put contingencies in place to avoid it. Another mind she had never read was the mind of Chris but that was a deliberate decision and not a lack of ability. She could already feel everything he felt and the last thing she wanted to do was to strip him of the privacy of his thoughts as well.
The second thing she had figured out was that Ronke was a mage hunter as well. Prior to this time she had always been able to see into her head but right now she could feel the same wall she felt when she tried to read the guy’s mind. Although the wall wasn’t as strong as the guy’s yet and she suspected that was because she just awakened so she could still pick out a few words like “Chris” and “Wole” which she guessed was the guy’s name.
The third thing she had figured which should probably have been the first thing was that her life was in danger. Chris already knew this and she knew he was on his way but for now she was going to have to hold her own.
She already tried to lift both of them and that hadn’t worked either so she decided to use materials in her environment. They were both resistant to magic but that didn’t mean that their surrounding was.
The Wole guy had probably instructed her to keep her distance because she took a couple of steps backwards and leaned on her apartment door silently watching. She was obviously terrified and confused, Chi felt so sorry for her.
“You know who I am and I know who you are. Wole right?” Chi asked.
“How did you know, doesn’t matter…I won’t let you kill her, so it’s either you get out of the way or I kill you” Wole replied.
“Why do you hunters have to be so stuck up? It’s always black and white with you guys isn’t it?” she said.
“Step away mage, I won’t ask again” Wole threatened.
“It’s not that simple, Ronke is my best friend’s girlfriend. Believe me, I’m the best person that could have come here” on saying that Chi took another step forward.
As her feet were touching the ground, Wole threw two vials of purple liquid at her. She lifted two large stones from the ground and smashed them mid-air before the vials got to her. Shifting her focus back to him only in time to hear Ronke scream as one of his karambits aimed directly for her neck. Hitting knife away from his hand with one of the stones, he still managed to spin and kick her right in the stomach pushing her towards the gate.
“Telekinesis huh? Troublesome” he said, stepping back to pick up his knife.
Chi stood up. He was fast, so fast that he covered the distance between them in the few seconds she used to smash the vials.
“What was in those vials?” she asked.
“If those vials broke a bit closer to your personal radius, this fight would have been long over by now” he said.
“But that’s the thing, I’m not here to fight you. I only want to talk to her.” Chi said.
She was getting upset now. There was a drum of water just outside Ronke’s apartment door. She lifted the drum and before Wole could react, emptied the water around Wole trapping him in a water bubble.
“Okay Ronke, while he’s running out of Oxygen let’s talk” Chi said.
“What do you want to talk about? Chris lied to me. He’s cheating isn’t he?” Ronke asked.
“Cheating?? Really??? How can you have seen all that you have seen and the best thing you could come up with was cheating???” Chi asked angrily, she didn’t know how long she could hold the water bubble and still concentrate on Ronke.
“I know the rest, magic is real and all that. Wole came here to explain it to me and take me to safety, doesn’t still change the fact that he’s having some kind of magical affair with you.
It all makes sense to me now, although I hardly saw you he always mentioned you. You were always first priority for him” she replied almost in tears.
Chi stared at the bubble, Wole was still struggling in the bubble and it was harder to keep it together. A normal human being would have passed out by now but obviously these hunters were cut from a different cloth.
“Listen to me Ronke. You don’t know shit, and I know that there is a lot you don’t understand. But I can assure you that if you leave with Wole, you’ll never know the truth…”
Her hold of the bubble weakened a little more and Wole lunged at her mid-air with his knife, she unhinged Ronke’s apartment door and pushed it at him to block but he anticipated that and bent to dodge. Landing a few inches from her, he attempted to stab her again only to be kicked away by someone unexpected.
“Took you long enough” Chi said.
“You’re welcome” Chris replied.
“Chris…you….” was all Ronke could say at this point.
“Ronke, we need to leave NOW. I’ll explain later but we might be in danger here.”
“You’re not going anywhere with her” Wole said back on his feet.
“Dude listen. This really has nothing to do with you, besides you could barely take on Chi. You definitely can’t beat me and even if you could, you can’t beat us both.”
A flock of birds flew towards Ronke’s house and started circling her roof.
“Oh shit, they’re here” Chris said.
Two figures approached Ronke’s house and Chi opened her mouth finally understanding the situation.
“No, not them” she said.
“What’s going on?” Wole asked.
“What’s going on is that you’re going to help us or you’re definitely going to die here” Chris said.
“I’ll never help a mage” Wole spat.
“Well there’s a first time for everything.” Chris replied.
“Go inside your house now Ronke.” Chi said.
A man of average height and build wearing a green tee shirt and grey pants that looked oversized with a slight moustache that seemed a little out of place accompanied by a girl that was slightly taller who wore her hair in a ponytail dressed in standard guardian blacks with her katana hung on her side entered the gate.
“Well, if it isn’t our best and brightest” the man said.
“Hi Remmy, Hello Iradat. What brings the both of you all the way down here? I’m sure you have better things to do.” Chi said.
“Well, we heard that a mage hunter was awakening here and we were asked to come and finish the job, just in case you couldn’t. Obviously you couldn’t so here we are” Iradat said with a smile.
Chi didn’t like Iradat so much, she was five years older than Chris in the guardian order and was the best katana wielder in the order apart from General Segun. She was only also his best pupil and she hated Chris with a passion for rejecting her master’s tutelage. These were already enough for reasons for Chi to be her least biggest fan, but the real reason she disliked Iradat was because she seemed to enjoy taking the dirtier jobs from the factions. Sadly though, Iradat was one Guardian Chris could not beat, at least not yet.
Chi was certain that they were screwed because in the duo, Iradat wasn’t the real problem. Remmy was the real cause for concern; with a natural magical affinity to communicate with, control and manipulate animals popularly known as Zoopathy he was a really hard nut to crack.
The first downside was that she could never read his mind or control it because she could never ever figure out exactly where his mind was at a given period in time. This advantage applied to his guardian as they shared a connection so controlling Iradat was also a dead end. He had mastered his abilities so much that he could split his consciousness between animals even of different species.
He could be having a conversation with you and at the same time controlling a flock of birds. His abilities hadn’t left him without a downside and it was rumoured that he had spent so much time in the minds of animals and insects that he wasn’t totally human anymore. The only person that really understood him was Iradat and they were by far one of the best teams of Guardian and Mage that existed in the dome.
“We know the girl is here, give her to us and you’ll live to see another day.” Remmy said.
The birds were still circling so it was obvious he was still controlling them, what Chi wasn’t sure of was whether there was any other animal or insect around that they hadn’t taken account of. Dealing with Remmy was always quite a hassle, she stole a glance at Chris and she could tell that he shared her frustration.
“Not if I can help it” Wole said and he dashed towards Remmy. He barely took two steps before Iradat appeared in front of him jabbed him in the gut with the hilt of her unsheathed sword sending him flying towards Ronke’s apartment entrance.
He stood up coughing up blood.
“If you try that again, I’ll eat your eat your flesh you disgusting worm” Remmy said, licking his lips and smiling coyly.
“What was it you said about helping mages again? Isn’t it obvious that at least for now, we’re on the same side?” Chris asked helping Wole to his feet.
“I can see that you’ve formed an alliance with our enemies, which makes you enemies.” Iradat said unsheathing her sword.
“Iradat, try to listen. We are not here to fight, but you can’t have Ronke. Not yet.” Chi said.
Iradat was already approaching as Chris unsheathed his staff on both sides.
“Let’s see if what that disgusting old man taught you was worth shit” she said as their blades collided.
For the first couple of minutes it was a rapid succession of blade clashes and blocks, none of them seemed to be able to land a direct hit and they seemed pretty evenly matched.
Meanwhile, the birds were trying to get into the house but Chi surrounded the open door with a telekinetic bubble. Telekinetic constructs were difficult to maintain and she was already exhausted from fighting Wole.
“Let me help” Wole said, slashing at the birds with his knives.
“How dare you hurt my babies???…you will pay vermin” Remmy said as a swarm of bees from literally thin air approached Wole.
“A little help?” Wole asked as he attempted to run away from them.
“Great, just great” Chi muttered under her breath.
She lifted a pile of gravel stones from the ground and created a box to enclose the bees, she then created a hole in the ground and buried them in. By the time she turned back to the door, the birds were already inside.
“Oh NO” she exclaimed.
Chris was beginning to slow down as Iradat’s slashes became quicker and quicker.
“You’re using a strength and speed enhancing spell with your sword” he noted.
“Less talking boy” she said swinging her sword towards his face, he blocked it just in time with his detached twin blades but the force still strong enough to knock him to the ground.
“Enough, we’ve won” Remmy said as the birds brought Ronke out of the house. They carried her by her limbs and dropped her on the ground. She was bleeding from all the scratches they had inflicted on her.
“Oh no, Ronke” Chris shouted attempting to get up. Iradat kicked him in the gonads and pinned him to the ground with her sword.
“You’re done” she said.
“Chris I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault” Chi said.
Wole simply stared helplessly at the situation.
“So should we kill her here or we should take her away?” Iradat asked Remmy.
“We definitely are going to eat her here, but we first have to kill the traitor. The one that was willing to die for love” Remmy said smacking his lips again.
Iradat kicked Chris again.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, I never imagined I’d get to do it with such an audience. The two most important people in your life get to watch you die, you should be grateful.” Iradat said gleefully.
Chi had no strength left, magical or otherwise. She could barely even stand, the saddest thing was that if Chris died she could still find another guardian. The guardians always got the short end of the stick and it hurt her more than anything to admit it.
“Last words perhaps?” Remmy asked Chris.
Chris just stared at Ronke barely able to mumble any words.
“Well this was fun” Iradat said aiming for Chris’ heart.
At least that’s what she meant to do before she heard a shriek that made sword drop from her hands.
Chi opened her eyes to find Ronke screaming and it seemed like some kind of force was emanating from her body as she did. Remmy attempted to control the birds but he couldn’t and Wole seeing that used the opportunity to dash at him stabbing him in the shoulder.
He aimed his neck stab for the neck but Iradat had recovered from the shock already as she the stab with her hands and kicked him away. She then carried Remmy on her shoulder and fled the compound.
Ronke stopped screaming and the force slowly disappearing from around them as she collapsed on the ground.
They all stood in silence for about three minutes until Chris’ finally found a voice to speak.
“Okay what just happened?” he asked.
“She is a Mage Spawn.” Wole answered.
“A what?” Chi asked.
“A mage spawn. They are a class of Mage Hunters who have a powerful mage somewhere down their ancestral lineage. All mage hunters are simply resistant to magic and we learn other tricks. A mage spawn can somehow extent their magical resistance to their immediate surroundings like a force.” Wole explained.
“I’m quite confused.” Chris said.
“This is the first time I’m seeing it myself but I’m certain that is what she is. They are extremely rare and the ones that exist in this generation hardly associate with regular mage hunters” He answered.
“That would explain why Remmy was powerless and Iradat couldn’t use her sword. The sword is bound to her by magic.” Chi exclaimed.
Chris walked towards Ronke and picked her up in his arms.
“So in the end she saved us all. How ironic” he said with a chuckle.
“But we can’t stay here, and we can’t go to the ethereal realm either. I’m sure by tomorrow we’ll already be labelled as traitors. Mages and Guardians alike would want our heads.” Chi said obviously worried.
“I know a place we can hideout for a bit. We’ll figure it out from there.” Wole offered.
“I hope this isn’t a trap.” Chris asked.
“I’ve seen enough to know that you don’t want to harm this girl, so for now…errhmm…I trust you” Wole said in-between coughs.
Chi let out a sigh of relief and laughed a bit. Partly because she couldn’t believe they survived this ordeal and mostly because she knew it was only a calm before the storm.
As Chris carried Ronke on his shoulders with Chi and Wole walking beside him, Chi asked.
“Yes?” he answered.
“What was it you said about helping mages again?” she asked with a smirk.
“Technically I’m helping her, not you” he replied.
“Whatever floats your boat bro” she said whistling ahead of them.
Chris burst into laughter shaking his head at her and even Wole couldn’t help but smile.